Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

If UN forces are already in Ivory Coast, why didn't they intervene in the massacre at Doukoue?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU
 
Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:19 PM
Original message
If UN forces are already in Ivory Coast, why didn't they intervene in the massacre at Doukoue?
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 02:36 PM by Adsos Letter
According to sources, Ouatarra forces carried out a massacre of civilians at a church mission compound at Doukoue: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

according to another source, the UN has MI-24 gunships in the area capable of firing on Gbagbo forces: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

and, 1,000 UN peacekeepers were stationed in Doukoue: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

and according to witnesses, the UN did not intervene in the Doukoue massacre: "The mission killings began the day after Outarras fighters overwhelmed the town. A thousand UN peacekeeping soldiers, mainly from Pakistan and Vietnam and based in Duekoue, did nothing to stop the killing, according to aid workers."

Link: http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/world-news/the-next -...

I don't know what the armament of the peacekeepers is, or their mandate; and I understand use of helicopters could have included civilian deaths.

Still, as far as mandates go, they were able to use helicopters against Gbagbo's forces in another area; why couldn't the UN ground forces at Doukoue have intervened to stop the massacre there?

This reminds me of the Dutch failure at Srebrenica, which allowed the massacre of 8,000, and is very disturbing.

I'm sure someone has more info on this; I may very well be missing something here.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
1. Because they suck?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Drale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. The same reason they didn't intervene in Rwanda
Politics. Politics suck, the UN had peacekeepers in Rwanda and did nothing to stop the genocide.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Once again. The mission is different.
That seems to be a really difficult concept here. Try this: Massive armed intervention in every nation with hostilities of one group to another. Does that work for you? Do you think nations will offer up their soldiers to fight in such conflicts? Really? How many?

You say "politics" with a sneer. Meaning you haven't the faintest idea what it means.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. If the UN can provide gunships to attack one side in this civil war
it seems those "peacekeepers" ought to be able to stop civilian massacres.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MrCoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. There was nothing UNAMIR as it was in 1994 could have done to stop the genocide
Anyone who thinks Dallaire could have done anything different is simply wrong.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Dallaire didn't have the force available, but the UN could have provided it.
And the US could have pushed hard for it if we hadn't been so busy excusing ourselves by arguing over whether what was happening was actually genocide.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. The mission of peacekeepers is different from soldiers. It is.
That's why the enraged and disgusted Belgians were allowed to do nothing to stop the Serbs from separating male Bosnians and busing them to their graves.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Well, that's interesting, because apparently the UN could cough up some
very heavily armed gunships to strike at Gbagbo's forces in Abidjan.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. The UN cannot just act unilaterally; it needs several nations' permission first. (nt)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. If the UN has peacekeepers in Doukoue (what peace? it's a civil war)
they need permission to stop a massacre of unarmed civilians by one side in that civil war? Why are they even there? They certainly aren't keeping any peace.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Yep, they actually do. There's a huge number of hoops to jump through to permit any force at all.
Libya's a major, almost unprecedented aberration by the existing standards, and has only really happened on anywhere near that scale twice previously; it's almost impossible to get the veto powers to agree to give a peacekeeping force permission to knock heads in anything other than immediate, personal self defense.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Well, I still don't understand it...
I understand your post, I just don't understand why UN choppers could be released to attack the military forces of one side, and not allow the 1,000 soldiers at Doukoume to protect those civilians.

I understand we live in a world of reality, with real problems and blocks to solving those problems; still, this really pisses me off.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Yeah, I don't fully know what's going on there myself
Attack helos opening fore on a military base is also really unusual; in any case if there's to be troops there at all I'd prefer they have a mandate to actually do their job and protect people insofar as they can. I don't recall whether the UN mission there is Chapter 6 or Chapter 7, but if it's the latter they should have at least some of that authority.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. It just seems too much like so much of what we've seen already
Rwanda
Srebrenica
(submit your own here)
Doukoume

I realize each of these cases was unique to itself; it's still exceptionally frustrating, especially since the Doukoume case is suspected to be based on ethnic rivalry, which would seem to approach the criteria of genocide.

There is no peace to keep there, and the UN is supporting the ouster of Gbagbo (who does need to go, since his presidency is invalid according to election results). Despite what others have posted (not you) I'm not under any illusions as to what might be possible, or even desireable.

I'm just really upset that 1,000 soldiers were apparently at hand, but couldn't stop- the thing; maybe they weren't armed well enough; maybe their intervention wasn't tactically possible; maybe they just couldn't get permission.

I don't know. I'm just sick and tired of it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Very interesting. Did they come onshore?
What nation provided the gunships? What was the agreement? I don't keep up with international massacres, there are just too many, too often. I've only just started following refugee information on Twitter.

I've been involved in animal rescue for decades. The first thing I had to learn was not to waste time crying over the ones I couldn't save because it took time and energy away from the ones I could save. I am wildly unimpressed by the ranting on DU...intervene here, intervene there, wtf did we intervene in Libya for? As if real life were a John Wayne marines-to-the-rescue movie. Except, of course, John Wayne was never in the marines.

Lotta people yelling GO HELP without a thought to what it means. Save them all and go home? So they all get massacred the day after. Well, that was a help.

I had a friend at WaPo when Bill Clinton was desperately trying to get Europe to agree to intervention when the Serbs were killing Croatians. Europe wouldn't budge. They finally got off their asses when the Serbs started murdering Bosnians as well. I guess that began to seem too familiar. We're still there, aren't we?

Americans and Europeans marching into Africa with our shiny white faces would be welcomed by who? And for how long? How many months before the Libyan rebels are less than thrilled to see us?

When a nation decides to murder its own citizens there is very little that can be done. The Libyan intervention is only partially about oil. The most vocal and respected advocates for Arab Spring were begging for the intervention. These are the new, young political voices in the MidEast. After Iraq, and considering we don't plan to ditch Israel, having them like us for something really matters.

The Ivory Coast is a different story. Every nation where there is killing is its own set of complications. Is it possible that Africa will finally grow up and start objecting to murder next door? I don't know. Aren't they getting tired of setting up refugee camps?

Yelling DO SOMETHING with our feet up and a nice snack on the end table ...eh. We really aren't prepared to do something. Let's see if anything halfway decent comes out of Arab Spring.

BTW, gonna be a lot more deaths from every possible cause in the next century than any of us ever imagined. Climate change destabilizes food production which destabilizes governments. Let's stop worrying about the dead and start thinking what we're going to do with/for/to the survivors.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Russian made; I don't know who provided them.
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 03:40 PM by Adsos Letter
You're condescending tone is a bit of a surprise, though. My question isn't about sending in "white faces," my question is about why the UN peacekeepers in Doukoue weren't able to stop a massacre of civilians, since there is no peace to keep in the area.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. They can't. Peacekeeping has a very narrow mandate.
Which is why nations can guarantee to provide peacekeeping forces, because they come home alive. They may be scarred for life because of what they've seen, but most UN forces get to come home in one piece.

I remember the Belgian unit that had to watch the Bosnians leave in those buses threw their peacekeeping berets on the tarmac as soon as they disembarked in Belgium. That may have helped change Europe's mind about intervention there.

The American army, of course, is multicolored faces but we'd still be an invading force in Africa.

I wouldn't ever want to condescend to you so I'm glad you called me on it. But there are such loopy ideas circulating here...I was responding to way more than your comment and there are excellent reasons why I'm not in the diplomatic corps. It hasn't been a good day for me human relations-wise and I'm sorry I took it out on you. I'm always happy when I see you've posted but today is a hard day to be happy for me.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. I'm responding mostly out of my own frustration aquart
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 04:30 PM by Adsos Letter
and I'm really sorry you're day isn't going well. :hug:

I realize it is easy for me to criticize the UN at a distance; I'm simply fed up with a lifetime of reports about civilians being massacred (as they have been throughout history, as I know you well understand).

I suppose what threw me most was the inability of non-western UN forces at/near the scene to stop these people being killed, especially since reports indicate it was a masacre based on ethnic identity, and that approaches the legal definition of genocide from what I recall.

And yet the UN was able to authorize an air attack (trust me: if you don't know already, those MI-24's pack some very serious firepower) against the side it is opposing in this civil war.

I don't know (and I suppose that's the point) maybe the UN determined the attack on the Gbagbo base would end the overall fighting sooner, thus helping lower the body count.

If Ouattra's forces' behavior at Doukoue is any indication of potential ethnic cleansing once they win I suppose we'll be exposed to another round of genocide in somebody else's country.

I know; we can't fix everything. I do know this. I'm just sick and tired of all the killing. I suppose I'm getting old.

In any case: I hope your day/week improves, and that whatever human relationship issues you're experiencing resolve in the best of all possible ways. I'm on FB; feel free to drop me a message.

:hug: :grouphug: :* ...can't send any hearts without the fundraiser.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bosonic Donating Member (774 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
16. It's a very murky situation
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 03:48 PM by Bosonic
The faction the UN/French have 'sided' with, that of Alassane Ouattara, are actually the accussed perpertrators of the 1,000 body count massacre recently (http://euobserver.com/9/32119 ).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Yup; there is that. My cynicism about life is rapidly increasing...
and I didn't think that was possible.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. But the opposite is so true, too.
I posted an email sent by a Japanese friend from a Japanese friend of hers from an Egyptian student of his telling about a food and supply mission he went on with the members of a Pakistani mosque in Sendai.

There are hard, cruel killers who see no other way to survive in their lives, and then there are the ones whose only impulse is to help. I've been fortunate enough to know a whole lot more of the second group than the first. We will always have both. But we will always have BOTH. That is the salvation of all of us.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Yes; you're spot on about this, and you make an excellent point...
"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act."

"No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little."

"Never despair; but if you do, work on in despair."


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Especially the last, which can be the hardest.
That is what faces the people of Japan right now. And will face more and more of us.

I read a book about England in the year 1000 which was a healthy, prosperous time but it made reference to the dark ages (caused, some think, by a major volcanic eruption thousands of miles away)when starvation was so unavoidable that whole villages linked arms and jumped from cliffs. The world eventually righted itself (right being defined as becoming delightful for human life) but not before untold misery was endured by people whose stories were never recorded.

We work on to make it through whatever happens. What I keep saying I learned after 9/11 is that if you live through a disaster, you keep living. So, too, for the survivors of the Ivory Coast atrocities. But those don't begin to be over.

If we spend all our time despairing over the horrors, we never enjoy the good and the great. There are genuine saints among us (not me) who risk all to help because they cannot imagine not. And studies of concentration camp survivors found that the ones who lived were the ones who made networks of helping to keep each other alive, not the every man for himself crowd.

We will survive by our kindness, not our cruelty, but there will be plenty of both.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Aug 29th 2014, 06:04 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC